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Electronic, optical and chemical properties of particles on the nanometer scale

English title Electronic, optical and chemical properties of particles on the nanometer scale
Applicant Oelhafen Peter
Number 109225
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Departement Physik Universität Basel
Institution of higher education University of Basel - BS
Main discipline Condensed Matter Physics
Start/End 01.10.2005 - 30.09.2007
Approved amount 271'717.00
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Keywords (6)

carbon nanotubes; cluster compounds; clusters on the nanometer scale; 2d self oganized cluster arrangements ; electronic properties; optical properties

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
1: Growth mechanism of carbon nanotubes
The degree of growth control necessary to fulfil the huge potential of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for a big number of applications requires a deep knowledge of the factors involved in the carbon nanotube chemical vapour deposition (CVD) growth process. According to our previous work, the chemical state of the catalyst particles is one key factor. We plan to deepen our understanding of nanotube growth mechanisms by investigating the combined influence of chemical state and catalyst morphology, using pre-engineered catalytic particles with defined diameter, composition and spatial ordering prepared with micellar techniques. To in situ studies of catalyst chemical composition we will add studies of feedstock gas decomposition, as a mean to determine the kinetic paths involved in the catalytic process. Additionally, the crystalline shape and orientation of the particles with respect to the substrate will be investigated.

2: Nanoparticles
We aim to develop strategies to form stochastic and regular arrays of clusters in the size range between 0.5 to 5 nm made of different materials, such as semiconductors, metals and magnetically active metals.
The strong correlation existing between the size of a cluster and its electronic structure, translates into a highly desirable tunability of properties. In order to use clusters as building blocks for nanotechnology, it is imperative to control their size and spatial distribution, understand and exploit the interaction of clusters with their surroundings.
Part of the project will focus in the combination of metal/semiconductor clusters and fullerenes to form binary cluster compounds, where the fullerene will serve as the matrix or template for the metal/semiconductor clusters. Incorporation of non-carbon elements and clusters in between the fullerene cages offers a large variability in material properties which still have to be explored in their whole breadth.
A second part of the project will deal with the electronic and chemical properties of supported nanoparticles taking advantage of photoelectron spectroscopic techniques. The field of metal nanoparticles/clusters on surfaces is one of the most promising (but also challenging) research areas because of the potential of such systems to be used as building blocks in a variety of applications in nanoelectronics, ultrahigh density data storage, catalysis, or biotechnology. Particle systems to be investigated will be FePt alloy particles, Au particles, AuIn alloys, etc.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
117590 Electronic, optical and chemical properties of particles on the nanometer scale 01.10.2007 Project funding (Div. I-III)
101756 Supported nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes and three dimensional nanostructures 01.10.2003 Project funding (Div. I-III)